Ok so it wasn’t Ferrari but another team with a sort of great history, Mercedes.  Lewis’ decision to leave McLaren at the end of the season has been described as a “mistake” by Martin Whitmarsh.  And its hard to disagree with them. Whilst I appreciate that a young driver wants to win above all else, is Lewis really likely to make greater progress to another world championship at Mercedes than he would have done at McLaren? Sure he will become the No 1 driver but they have struggled this season (Rosberg’s solitary win in China excepted) and unless they manage to woo Newey away from Red Bull, its hard to see them making much of an impact on Red Bull, Ferrari , McLaren and Lotus. Even Mercedes’ bags of money won’t be able to deliver the sort of success Lewis needs. And when Lewis isn’t winning he’s not happy..

Its difficult not to sympathise with McLaren. Lewis literally owes them (and Ron Dennis in particular) everything.  They nurtured his talent for decades and built their team round him and the bitterness of his departure is a sad end to their relationship. When I was being shown round the MTC a few months ago my guide pointed to one of the McLaren F1 road cars that sits on display in the “Boulevard” and told the story of how a young Lewis Hamilton, when he had just been signed by McLaren, said to Ron “when I become world champion I want that car”.  Ron apparently told him he could have it if he won the world championship twice.  Lewis won’t be getting the car now.

Your name’s not on it any more Lewis..

But who will get Lewis’ drive at McLaren? The speculation has begun and my guess is the talented Paul Di Resta. He had been a possible for the Mercedes drive so I suspect Force India have already resigned themselves to his possible leaving. His fine drive to 4th in Singapore will have done his chances no harm and his cool (cold?) efficency will no doubt suit Ron.

So it will be all change at the end of the season.  Perhaps most significantly the final race will probably see the end of Schumacher’s F1 career.  I won’t be sad to see the back of him. He and the sainted Senna bear most responsiblity for the bad behavior that now so afflicts all levels of professional motor sport.

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